Friday, September 30, 2011

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Grandma and Grandpa Ketchum took us to Hollywood Studios yesterday. The kids (oddly) had a teacher work-day yesterday so there was no school county-wide. At the ticket counter at DHS, the lady there recognized the city we live in from our driver's license and was excited because her grandkids were also off of school today. Turns out they go to school with our kiddos - such a small world!

We got to the park with a plan. First on the list was to split up and send Grandpa Ketchum to get fast passes to the Toy Story ride, while the rest of us went in the opposite direction to sign the kids up for Jedi training.

Checking out the map together. Evidently, everyone that gets up this early to be at the park at "rope drop" also comes with a plan, because it was crazy when it opened. We even ran into our neighbors, from the circle in Alaska (who we had seen the night before for dinner at our house, so we knew they would likely be around, we just didn't expect to actually see them in the sea of people). We exchanged quick greeting with the Dorvals, for it looked as though they, too, were on a serious mission.

Whew! We waited nearly an hour to get the kids signed up for Jedi training, and I was getting scared that it might not work out, because the times for training kept getting later and later. Finally, we made it into one of the last groups of the day and it was SO WORTH IT!

We walked over to Star Tours after signing up for training, and were delighted to not have more than a 10 minute wait. It was cute, during the ride, they talked about a Jedi spy or something like that, and then showed Daniel's picture up on the screen. Megan and Joshua thought it was hilarious. The ride was a simulation ride and might have been a little too real for Megan and Daniel, because they both cried during it. Afterwards, Daniel said he liked it, but Megan is like her Daddy - they don't do roller-coaster type things.

They each hopped up for a picture...

From there, we had planned to go see The Little Mermaid, but the timing just didn't seem to work out right, so we walked through a beautiful display all about Walt Disney. The pictures, costumes and castles were really cool to look at.

Somewhere in there, we stopped for bagels, because everyone was feeling hungry. Then we hustled over to Toy Story Mania to turn in our fast passes. Keith and I have stood in this line for over 2 hours on previous visits. It continues to be one of the most popular Disney park rides.

It's a 3-D arcade adventure.

Keith standing by some of the artwork on the walls decorating the waiting area.

My arcade partner.

Keith sending a quick text to a friend that he accidentally "butt dialed" during Star Tours. Oops!

After Toy Story, we were walking across the park and caught the last few minutes of a High School Musical themed show. At the end of the show, streamers fly out into the crowd, so naturally, my kids ran to get some, because they are kids and do these things. Keith saw Mrs. Dorval (our friends are smart and bring Grandma/Mimi along with them to help entertain their toddler). She seemed to be trying to get a streamer, and Megan had plenty, so they ran over to give her some.
While Daniel danced in the street with his lucky find!

Back moving forward again, we missed out on seeing the Indiana Jones show because it was full, so we sauntered over to the Muppet show. We love the muppets.

The show was cute and it was fun to watch the kids react to the 3-D effects.

Heading out of the show, we saw Phineas and Ferb. We considered waiting in line to see them, but I think everyone was getting anxious to move on to see what's next.

We made our way to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground and let everyone play for a bit, since they were going to need to sit still for another show. With strict rules about sticking together, we sent them off to play in a spider web.

Then it was time for what Keith had been waiting for - Lights, Motor, Action! We went to the baking-hot stadium and settled in for a spectacular show.

The big boys loved it. Megan was jumping out of her seat the whole time, watching the hero escape from the bad cars.

Even Lightening McQueen made an appearance.

Daniel doesn't like fire, and was nervous with some of the fire-related special effects.

Then we tried again to see the Little Mermaid, in the time we had between the car show and when we needed to check in at Jedi training school. The time of the show wasn't going to work out for us, and so we went in search of some characters.

We've managed to get a Mickey picture in each park that we've been to!

Then we made our way over to Winnie the Pooh. I think they are both mesmerized with each other. It's amazing how much you can communicate even without the ability to say anything.

Then it was finally time for Jedi training!

With our tickets in hand, we arrived to the air conditioned waiting area.
The kids were robed and given a quick lesson.

I am shocked and amazed that no children were whacked during this training.

The Jedi Master was hilarious! As each kid stepped forward, Darth Vader would ask them if they are going over to the dark side. Megan's little squeaky voice said, "no!"

When she defeated Darth Vader, the guards started approaching her, and so she "used the force" to force them back.

She took her role very seriously!

Then it was Joshua's turn.

Awesome! Daniel's turn I actually video'd but the website is not cooperating right now. It's on Facebook, but I'll transfer it over here, too, soon.

After taking an ice-cream break. We tried for the 3rd time to cut across the park to see the Little Mermaid show, but then got distracted by the show in front of the hat. It was the same show that we only saw a few minutes of earlier in the day, and Megan really, really wanted to see it. So we stayed. Towards the end, they asked for volunteers from the audience to come up and dance. She raised her hand and was picked! I also have video of this.

After signing, "We're all in this together" from High School Musical, the streamers flew, again!

A couple of group shots, and it was time to head home.

The kids did awesome today, even when they were hot and tired.

We had a pleasant boat ride back to the Beach Club, where the Ketchums are staying.
And from there it was about a 30 minute drive home.
I'll try to work on fixing these videos later today.

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